On Long Bar Pointe project, learn from past, respect nature

July 25, 2013 

It doesn't make sense to build in a Coastal High Hazard flood area, but some people are yearning to do just that at Long Bar Pointe in northeast Sarasota Bay.

Here we are in the middle of another hurricane season, and it is ironic and telling that the June 6 Manatee County commission meeting to have presentations on Long Bar Pointe was postponed until Aug. 6 because Tropical Storm Andrea was approaching.

It is shortsighted for Manatee County to allow building in areas that are prone to flooding. In a June 1 article of this year, entitled "2013 hurricane season doesn't need big storms to be dangerous," the Bradenton Herald remembers last season's Tropical Storm Debbie: "150,000 cubic yards of sand were lost at Coquina Beach alone ... homes on Anna Maria Island were flooded ... five days of heavy rain closed restaurants and other tourist attractions ... nine inches of rain."

In this same Bradenton Herald article, Craig Fugate, former director of the Florida Emergency Management Division, explains, "The one thing we see pretty consistently in all of the storms is the tendency of people to underestimate the damage potential of storm surge."

Many of us recall Hurricane Charley, which for a time the weather bureau claimed would come through Sarasota Bay.

Nature has adapted to the low-lying area in Sarasota Bay known as Long Bar Pointe with sea grass beds and mangroves, to the benefit of much sea life and the enjoyment of many of the residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties.

In this age of environment awareness and enlightenment, why are county construction permits granted for coastal flood areas? Let's learn from past disasters and leave nature alone.

Peggy Yawberg


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